Written by TV

“The Real…”

There’s a documentary on Channel 4 this evening entitled “The Real Pink Panther” which, as The Stage points out, is completely misnamed, as “The Pink Panther” was a jewel and not the criminal (“The Phantom”).
This was my comment for that story which wouldn’t seem to post, but was worth putting here:
I’ve got a broader problem with programmes like this. It’s the all round laziness in titling them. Seemingly, we can’t cope with a more general title for this series of documentaries. We, the audience, are so stupid that we’ll only watch docmentaries with the words “The Real…” in the title.
In the last week, we’ve had The Real Casino Royale and The Real Slumdog Millionaire on Sky One. Then there’ve been The Real Da Vinci Code, The Real James Bond, The Real Stephen Hawking, The Real Charlotte Greys, The Real John Betjamin, The Real Hustle, The Real Rain Man, The Real Dad’s Army, The Real Exorcist… And on and on and on, across most of our broadcasters.
Obviously this is a lazy way to get a known brand/TV series/movie associated with your documentary. But enough’s enough.
I don’t care if you’ve carefully fashioned the most beautifully put together documentary since The Ascent of Man; if it reaches the screens entitled “The Real…” then I simply won’t watch it.
Have we really reached the point where we can only use the Ronson “Says What It Is On The Tin” school of programme naming will let a documentary cut through? If we have, then we’re in a very sorry place.